Known for its angular, complex, intricate songs, the Secession Movement is an experimental alternative rock quartet from Cherry Hill, NJ, just outside Philadelphia. The band was formed in 1997 when singer/guitarist David Downham got together with bassist Nick Kessler and drummer David Dworanczyk; previously, they had belonged to a local South Jersey band called A Roger 7. At first, the Secession Movement was a trio, but it became a quartet when Matt Hojnowski (Matt Hoj for short) joined as lead guitarist a few months after the band's formation. The Secession Movement was originally called the South Jersey Secession Movement -- an inside joke that only people in and around New Jersey understood. Over the years, New Jersey residents have joked about the state being divided into two separate states: North Jersey near New York City and South Jersey near Philadelphia (just as Californians joke about Northern and Southern California becoming two separate states). But the band ended up shortening their name and Downham has described the new name as "a sort of philosophical tease in some ways" and "a stamp of rebellion in others." The Secession Movement first entered the studio in 1997, recording and circulating a four-song demo cassette titled The Primary Colors of...; that demo was followed by a self-titled EP that came out on CD the following year. It was in late 1998 that Hojnowski left the band and Timothy Day became the new lead guitarist. In late 1999 and early 2000, this new lineup -- Downham on vocals and rhythm guitar, Day on lead guitar, Kessler on electric bass, and Dworanczyk on drums -- recorded the Secession Movement's first full-length album, Akedemik. At first, the members of the Secession Movement put Akedemik out themselves. But in 2001, the album was re-released by Keep Safe Records, a small label based in Cherry Hill.
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